Indias wetlands in peril

Wetlands in India come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from the huge vast coastal wetlands in Kerala like the Vembanad Kol, supporting millions of fish and birds, to the brackish water lagoons like Chilika in Orissa which support thousands of small fishermen, from the crystal clear lakes like the Chandra taal in Himachal, to the salty Sambhar lake in Rajasthan. They can be tiny water filled bogs, which help maintain water levels in local wells and rivers and protect small villages from flooding. Wetlands, mostly natural except a few man-made, have been an integral part of India’s landscape. In many states like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, etc, numerous natural wetlands and small man-made rainwater harvesting structures were developed by communities, which provided water and fish
to humans and non humans alike. According to the 1992-
1993 study by the Space Application Centre, India has
nearly 3.5 million hectares under wetlands.


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